Can I Make Gnocchi?
Updated: Nov 7, 2019
I was watching this Tasty YouTube video on gnocchi and I had a potato, egg, and flour, so I decided to try to make them myself. :)
I generally think of gnocchi as a light potato pasta, but gnocchi can be made without potatoes: flour only and I think I even saw ones made from ricotta cheese on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. The word gnocchi describes the shape and may come from the Italian words: nocchio (a knot in wood) or from nocca (meaning knuckle). Gnocchi may have originated from Middle-Eastern cuisine all the way back from Ancient Roman times! Making gnocchi with potatoes started around the 16th century in Europe. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnocchi
I made 1/4 recipe because I only had 1 potato (they used: 4 potatoes).
What I used:
- 1 Russet potato
- 1/4 egg (but maybe 1/3 or 1/2 of an egg -- will explain in a second :) )
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup of flour
Instead of boiling the potato as in the video, I microwaved the potato for 5-6 minutes until it was soft. Then I used a fork to mash it up until it was pretty smooth; you don't want lumps in the gnocchi dough. I whisked an egg in a separate bowl.
I put the potato into the fridge for a few minutes before adding the egg; I didn't want the egg to scramble. Also, you hand-mix this dough, so I didn't want it to be too hot.
When I was adding an egg to the mashed potato, I tried to pour 1/4 egg only, but I think I accidentally poured a little bit more. I tried to spoon some egg out of the potato mixture. Haha. :)
I hand-mixed 1/4 cup of flour (maybe a little more) gradually into the potato/egg mixture until it started to look like dough more than mashed potatoes. Haha. :) I really thought it wasn't going to work, but I kept adding flour and it did start to look like dough. I added some salt and pepper.
Then I rolled out the dough into a cylinder or snake that was ~3/4" or 1" in diameter.
I chopped off little pieces that were ~1cm (or 1/2" thick). As you can see I got a lot of little gnocchi from 1 potato.
I tried to make all the pieces about the same size, so they would cook evenly. They were about ~1cm x 1.5cm (1/2" x 3/4").
Shaping the gnocchi for fun
You don't have to shape the gnocchi further. They look like little pillows after you chop them off and a lot of restaurants serve them like that. In the video, they had a couple of cute little tricks.
1.) Adding ridges with the back of a fork:
By rolling each one on the back of the fork to make some ridges. Super cute!
2.) Indentation with your knuckle:
You just press down in the middle a little bit with your knuckle to make an indentation, which I thought was cute since the word 'gnocchi' may come from the Italian word for 'knuckle'.
I gave them a try with varying levels of success. :) Check out the video clips.
Adding ridges with the back of a fork
Indentation with your knuckle:
Once you make the little pieces, you cook them by boiling them in water until they float. They looked pretty good after I made the little pieces, but the moment of truth was whether or not they would float after boiling them in the water. And they did! We are good at this!
It only took 1 or 2 minutes for them to cook.
They tasted really good too. :)
In the video, they cook them in the pan with butter and herbs. I just added 1/2 pat or 1 whole pat of butter to the bowl of hot gnocchi and it melted in there.
You can eat it with any sauce or additions.
I added some Italian sausage, spinach, a little red pepper flakes and little parmesan (see below).
All in all, it probably took me ~1 hour start to finish (because I re-watched the video on my iPad and took photos multiple times while cooking :) ), but now that I know how to do it, it would probably take me 30 min.
Give it a try! It's super fun and pretty easy. We are good at this!